I am disappointed at recently finding that The Japan Times is no longer running a daily editorial column, and instead printing one only once a week.
The role of a newspaper is to provide readers with information about the world and domestic affairs, covering various aspects of politics, the economy, culture and so on, along with various opinions of experts, professionals and the general public.
But the editorial plays an important role in providing the readers with the newspaper’s own view. If it is void, the newspaper is like a dish without pepper.
It is true that readers are not interested in editorial columns in Japanese-language newspapers. They are inclined to neglect them and prefer to read such first-page columns as “Tensei Jingo” (“Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” or “The Voice of the People is the Voice of the Gods”) in the Asahi Shimbun.
I can imagine the difficulties in maintaining the editorial column. There are lots of technical and financial problems, including keeping a certain number of columnists and producing it on a daily basis. In spite of such difficulties I am of the opinion that The Japan Times should return to publishing editorials on a daily basis.
My proposal is that the editorial should not be as long and wordy as that of newspapers in English-speaking countries. We Japanese are accustomed to writing short and satirical sentences, which may have originated from the traditional Rakushu poetry (lampoons or satirical verses) dating to the Edo Period. The Japan Times can develop a new type of editorial, reflecting the traditional Japanese mentality.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.